“If you thought 2016 was a big WikiLeaks year, 2017 will blow you away,” WikiLeaks tweeted on Monday, giving no hints as to what may be in store. The tweet, featuring a clip from a Clint Eastwood spaghetti western showdown, also included a link to its website’s donation page so people can help the site “prepare for the showdown.
2016 was another game-changing for the whistleblowing site, as it delivered a massive trove of documents over the 12-month period. These included over 50,000 emails from John Podesta, Hillary Clinton’s campaign chair and more than 27,000 emails from the Democratic National Committee, which confirmed the DNC worked against Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders, favoring Clinton, and ultimately led to the resignation of then-DNC chair Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.
The emails relating to the US election rocked the Democratic establishment and delivered a blow to the Clinton campaign in the lead-up to the November election; according to many the Podesta revelations tipped the election against Hillary Clinton. The outcry against the the two sets of releases was so profound, it sparked a global diplomatic scandal between the US and Russia, and as a result of Obama administration accusations that the leaks were orchestrated by the Kremlin, the US expelled 35 Russian diplomats and seized two Russian compounds last week. Contrary to expectations, Putin refused to retaliate in tit-for-tat fashion, instead suggesting he is simply waiting for the arrival of the Trump administration to rebuild relations with the US.